Report reveals habits and expectations of Singapore consumers

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Those living in Singapore see the country as a more digitally advanced nation relative to other leading developed countries, according to the majority (52%) of the 1,000 digitally active respondents surveyed for the EY report “Savvy Singapore: Decoding a digital nation.”

Though the report is focused on digital enablement and the maturity of infrastructure to empower digital communications, it also revealed a range of habits and expectations that should be of interest to marketers.

Device-centric population

For one, the survey also shows that Singapore has a highly device-centric population. The majority (78%) of respondents check their device upon waking up, to the point where 26% of respondents’ mobile phone usage exceeds five hours daily.

Specifically, these users use their phones or tablets everywhere, including in public places (68%), and for everything. The latter ranges from social networking (98%) to online research (81%), and happens on a daily basis.

What this means is that brands cannot possible ignore mobile devices, and makes it imperative for them seek to establish a strong digital presence. This could be be implemented as a standalone initiative, or in tandem with physical retail shops.

“The playing field for retailers is altered today. Digital experiences are not just about online shopping and e-commerce. For many, the physical shopping journey is becoming a more digitally integrated one,” said Jonathan Rees, a digital leader at EY Asean Advisory.

The digital consumer

When it comes to the digital experience, the study found that around half of the respondents expect a high-quality digital experience as an entry to purchase (54%) and judge a company by their online presence (43%).

Notably, 83% of respondents say they discover new products and services through online research and almost half (49%) say they have conducted digital research while in a physical store.

In addition, an overwhelming 88% of respondents expect websites to be mobile-optimized for viewing and many expect to enjoy the same experience both online and offline. This means that not only do retailers need to be discoverable through search engine optimization, and must also be mobile-centric.

“For Singapore retailers, there is a significant opportunity in merging the brick-and-mortar store with digital experiences for a seamless, omni-channel service delivery,” noted Rees.

Privacy matters

Unsurprisingly, privacy was identified as one of the dominant concerns: a vast 81% of the respondents worry about how organizations collect, store and use data about them, and 75% want the government to impress greater controls and transparency. And Singaporeans are largely aligned on the government’s role in regulating organizations, the study noted.

“In response to the relentless pace of digital advances, governments and enterprises must meet the challenges of leading smart transformations to co-create better digital experiences. The service conundrum and opportunity confronting them lie in ensuring consumer privacy and transaction security while delivering high-quality personalized experiences,” said Rees.

“What is certain is going digital is no longer a ‘wait-and-see’ but a ‘catch-and-act-now’ imperative. Organizations must be ready to reset their customer strategies if they want to successfully capitalize on the growth potential of the digital economy,” he concluded.

In a nutshell, integrating digital for a seamless customer experience is the key to success.

Further reading:

Uncertainty will see CMOs stretching their dollars with digital in 2017

How analytics can enhance your digital content strategy

Singapore leads Asia in digital infrastructure